A Spoken Word

by Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer

My name is Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer. You may have heard of me
And to be quite frank I’m not always 100% sure I’m spelling Muhammad right.
Is it M u, M o, I don’t know- it’s confusing.
I was born on June 21st 1999, in some ghetto army base within Peshawar, a small city in Pakistan.
This is widely been regarded as a terrible idea
Now see the reason I wasn’t born in a regular hospital
is that we were on the way to the airport, leaving Pakistan as refugees because of some bad business my parents have never went into
because they just love keeping secrets
This just goes to show, people wanted me dead even before I was born
I’m often terrible at staying quiet, being loud and shattering the solid silence, I mean what can I say
I was born sleeping and have been messed up ever since
I like coca-cola
I go to The University of Waterloo
I’m in first year and I still don’t have my drivers license
And for as long as I can remember I’ve loved cheap food… and bad jokes
I’m not exactly religious;
My faith in god died when my preacher preached peace and love
but he raised fists and seethed with a deadly glare in his eyes,
Speaking a story that needed no words
after taking care of my ill mother and seeing her smile with pure love
I realised that we don’t need to die to get to heaven.
I’m around 6 feet tall.
On a really good day.
I believe there are two types of people in the world. People who don’t bend the corners of their pages in books
and monsters.
I was a kid, back in 2006, age 7
When I discovered this thing called reading, you may have heard of it
And how it could make the world come alive
How I could be sitting in my bedroom, my legs crossed, face furrowed, and my lips spread in a thin crease with a small sliver of my tongue sticking out
But also how I could be a thousand miles away sailing the stormy sea, waves taller than towers
Rising and crashing sweeping me under without so much as a shout
How I could be sitting on the dinner table, eating with one hand book in another
But be alongside harry as he returns for the summer
All it took was a couple of words skillfully strung together into a couple of short sentences, neatly wrapped and tied into a paragraph.
I was a kid, back in 2006, age 7
When I discovered that apparently these false realities were not okay
And it was the first time I was called gay.
See I didn’t understand, a word that when googled means “lighthearted and carefree”
But when that word and others were spit out like something nasty caught in their mouths
it took those feelings out of me
I was a kid in 2009, age 10
When I made my first friend
He looked at me and rather seeing the weirdo who’d rather stay in than go out
The kid who’d rather have his nose between a book than in the fresh air on the swings and the slide
He saw a friend
I was a kid in 2009, age 10
When I learnt of compassion and kindness
I’ve fallen in love
And when in love wars being waged over women doesn’t sound so stupid anymore
And suddenly the radio made sense
It is as if every love song had been recorded in an effort to explain how I felt about you
I’ve had my heart broken
And yeah, sticks and stones may break my bones
But i’d rather have broken bones than a broken heart
Because bones generally have a nice clean sharp break
Whereas your heart doesn’t just snap
it tears, ripping along your fault lines, leaving you in bits and pieces
I’ve been raised by my parents “good guy”
But I have a pair knuckles swollen with the thought of red hot anger and brick
But I realized the only thing that smashing holes in cheap drywall breaks
Is my mother’s heart

I have a heart that’s swollen similar to my fist
It got that way from beating myself up over all the things I can’t fix
You see
I’m clumsy
Just yesterday I tripped in front of my mirror
And shattered my self esteem
And now I’m unable to look at my own reflection
And I have this, this thing that’s called depression that’s been eating me alive
Leaving me like a Russian nesting doll,
the memories of who I once was inside my hollowed out chest
And I struggle to convince my shadow that there’s value in standing behind me

Despite all this I know
I know I have the power to crush mountains and split the sea
because I have all the words
The words that want to spill out of me like a waterfall
wearing away at the mountains of prejudice and hate
Spilling truth into a sea of misconceptions
I know that music is the language of the soul and I’ve got big booming bass inside of me beating akin to my heart telling everyone I am still here, I am still alive
I’ve got a smile that can bridge canyons and a laugh that can translated into any language
I’ve got charisma equated to a simple formula
but have less confidence than an ignorant idiot
and I’m still struggling to fill the hole in my heart called happiness

my name is Muhammad Zaid Amer
Sometimes I’m still that grade 9 kid.
The kid whose stomach folds like intricate origami as the girl he loves walks by
And I don’t read as much as I’d like to
But I’ll always be a Potterhead at heart
And if you ask me after all this time?
I will say always

My name is Muhammad Zaid
My hobbies include laughing at absolutely everything and nothing at all, talking to myself and pretending everything’s okay
Hey, my name is Zaid